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Southern Arizona tourism works to rebound from pandemic

Southern Arizona Heritage and Visitor's Center
Posted at 6:52 AM, Jun 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-21 09:52:51-04

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — The Southern Arizona Heritage and Visitor Center tells a story about the place we call home.

"This is certainly a starting point for people to find things to do and where to go,” said Pima County Director of Attraction and Tourism, Diane Frische.

On Monday, the center officially reopened after staying closed for 14 months. Staff said they are excited to help people re-explore Southern Arizona, but according to Frische, the rebound won’t happen overnight.

“Tourism was the hardest hit during the pandemic. Everything closed down,” said Frische.

In 2019, tourism in Pima County was a $2.6 Billion industry. The county brought in only half of that amount in 2020. In 2021, there are signs that business will eventually return to normal.

“Since vaccinations are more readily available now, we’re seeing more people feel comfortable about getting out and visiting places. Some have been home for 13 months. It’s time to get out and explore a little bit,” said Frische.

During the hot Summer months, the center’s staff recommends exploring indoor venues, like the Pima Air and Space Museum or Colossal Cave. They also suggest heading out during the early morning or evening hours to enjoy the coolest parts of the day.

“There’s still plenty to do, we just urge people to be careful about the weather. Be smart,” said Frische.

The Southern Arizona Heritage and Visitors Center is open Monday through Friday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. inside the Historic Pima County Courthouse.